Myriad iconic attractions around the world are to ‘go green’ this year to mark St Patrick’s Day and to kick off Tourism Ireland’s major first half promotional drive to develop overseas tourism.
Among those to honour the Emerald Isle with their special March 17 greenery are The London Eye, Burj Al Arab in Dubai, Table Mountain in South Africa, the Empire State Building in New York, the Sky Tower in Auckland – and for the first time, Niagara Falls and the TV tower in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.
Acknowledging the massive impact of this Irish feast day, Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar stated this week:
“St Patrick’s Day provides a unique shop window for Ireland around the world, for Irish tourism and for trade and investment. That’s why we are using St Patrick’s Day to launch The Gathering 2013 in all of our main overseas markets. The Gathering 2013 will be the most important tourism initiative ever staged in Ireland, as we will be inviting the world to come and visit us. This greening initiative and the other promotions will ensure we build up to 2013 by sustaining growth in overseas tourism in 2012.”
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Over 70 million people around the world claim links with the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage and to showcase our wonderful tourism offering to a huge global audience. People across the world instantly identify St Patrick’s Day with Ireland and that heightened profile allows us to put the Ireland holiday experience in the spotlight – from London to Sydney and Stockholm to New York.
“Our ‘greening’ initiative takes place again this year, with some famous additions like Niagara Falls in the US and the TV tower in Berlin, and there are a few others that we’ll be keeping up our sleeves until closer to the day. Our aim is to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that Ireland continues to offer a warm welcome, fun and spontaneity, alongside fantastic scenery and cultural activities. Our St Patrick’s programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia, as well as developing markets such as China, India and South Africa. There will be saturation coverage of the island of Ireland across the airwaves, in newspapers, and digital media and that’s an invaluable boost for our overall tourism marketing drive.
“Our message this year is that there has never been a better time to visit the island of Ireland, with better-than-ever value from industry partners here and great things to do and see,” added Niall Gibbons.